Monday I was asked by my boss if I could fly back to Uganda on Thursday to troubleshoot the project from hell that I worked on.  I'd like to say with my new found sense of confidence it wasn't a problem - but it was. I think the suddenness of it didn't give me my usual time to mentally prepare. But I did it. Here I am in Uganda!

 

The anxiety *before* the flight is still there but seems to be getting better once on the plane. Whatever anticipatory anxiety I had lessened (couldn't say evaporated) once in the plane, surrounded with the new Neal Stephenson novel in paperback (don't know if I like it or not) the moving map, and 20 channels of bad movies.

 

Flying from NY to AMS in my favorite Delft blue KLM triple-7 was great, only slight jet stream chop. Missed my connection which meant a long lay-over in Amsterdam but that meant I could leave the airport and see the city for a few hours. KLM again was great. Love this airline. The original plane went "tech " and rather than try to fix it or patch it they rolled out a spare plane got it ready and flew it on the AMS - JFK leg. It was good to see they'd rather be late and anger potential customers than compromise safety. Great to see an airline deal with customers "honestly." Most people I think are reasonable enough that if you give them a legitimate excuse they won't be happy about delays but they won't be screaming lunatics either.

 

 

THis meant I'd have to fly to Nairobi and on to Uganda via Kenya airways. One positive is that Kenya Airways has pretty good food for airline food. Plus I ilove hearing the announcement in Swahili and catching "safari" which apparently just means trip - nothing exotic!

 

Flight to Nairobi was good too, pilot warned of turbulence over the Sahara, but it wasn't too bad.I figure if I count to 80 when I get nervous the worst of the turbulence is almost aways gone, which proves that chop is usually not so bad. Maybe that was in one of Captain Keith's programs so this isn't an original thing.

Flight Nairobi to Entebbe was great. We left an hour and a half late, but the pilot refused to take off until he was satisfied that a break malfunction indicator light was nothing. Saw the source of the nile at Jinja and some towering clouds (which we safely avoided by going further north than usual - hence flying over Jinja) I go back to New York on Saturday. Long layover  in Amsterdam again - by design this time - and am going to do some serious sightseeing. Well I am proud I did it again . I can't say I don';t already have anticipatory anxiety but this project is so fraught with tension anyway who can tell where my anxiety is from?

 

And in three weeks I get to go from New York to Nairobi for our International IT conference (Not this project, please!!!!!!)  British Airways via LHR - will have to compare them to my new favorite airline.  

 

So I am truly lucky and blessed with  job that entails atravelling and I am very grateful to this site to help me calm my nerves when I do go.  

 

 

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Great story!!! I hope your journey to Nairobi will be as pleasant as your previous one and hopefully all of us could share your enthusiasm and love for travelling.
Back in New York, flights to New York were fine. Weather in Kampala/Entebbe was cloudy with showers which increased my anxiety, but both flights were fine. it feels good to see on the moving map how a flight will divert for weather. They really aren't cowboys up front. The layover was long enough in Amsterdam that I went to town and did sightseeing. So in Three weeks I do it over again (This time to Nairobi) as I said I am lucky.
Hi Xetere,
Great to read your story about the trip to Uganda and back. Its very reassuring and helps me with my own anxiety about a long trip, starting on the 15th June, from Dublin to Auckland. The first "hop" is Dublin to London - about 1 hour. Then the serious "first" leg of the journey is from LHR to Kuala Lumpur - about 12 hours and the second (from KUL to AKL) is about 10 hours. Thankfully the planes on long haul are huge (747 and 777) and have excellent safety records. I've always felt relatively safer in a large airplane for some reason. Funny thing is, I've also had a couple of short-hop flights in the much smaller twin propeller commuter planes and oddly enough I always feel relatively safe in those as well. Maybe its the sight of the props spinning that is reassuring and the fact that they don't fly quite as high as the jets. I've been reading loads of stuff about anxiety conditions and phobias etc. and that has helped a lot. But I'm sure, come the day, I'll be anxious. But, using what I've read, I'm working each day to try and NOT add anticipatory anxiety to the preflight period. My two adult children and granddaughter are in NZ and seeing them and being with them for a few weeks will be worth the effort. Thanks again for your posting it was really great to read it. I wish you the very best with your future trips and I genuinely hope that, with all the experience you'll get, you achieve the "holy grail" of flying without fear. Frank Edwards.

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